Metro-East News

Illinois leads nation in frozen pipe insurance claims in 2018

Illinois had more insurance claims in 2018 for winter water losses than any other state, according to date released by State Farm Insurance.

It’s the second year in a row that Illinois topped the list.

Almost $28 million was paid out in claims, with the average cost per claim in Illinois close to $18,000.

Both State Farm and Illinois American Water offer tips to help protect the pipes in your home.

When temperatures drop:

  • A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.

  • Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night.

  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.

Before you travel:

  • Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 55°F.

  • Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it’s warm enough to prevent freezing.

  • Shut off and drain the water system.

If you experience frozen pipes:

  • If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber.

  • Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water to avoid electrocution.

  • Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame because it could cause a fire hazard.

  • You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe using a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe.

  • If your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it.

Additional tips from Illinois American Water can be found here.